The Great Southern Family History Soc
Dumbleyung - Donald Campbell’s Memorial Dumbleyung, which became a town site in 1906, is surrounded by a rural district dominated by wheat farming. It lies 53 kilometres North-East of Katanning, and is 38 kilometres West of Kukerin, a busy grain receiver and delivery centre.
The name Dumbleyung is thought to be taken from the Aboriginal word Dambeling, meaning large lake or sea.
Lake Dumbleyung is a wildlife sanctuary fed by the Coblinine River, and is one of the largest inland salt lakes
in Western Australia.
Dumbleyung and its Lake made world headlines in1964 when the late Sir Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record at 273.3 miles per hour, or 442.08 kilometres per hour, in his boat Bluebird. The Dumbleyung area was first travelled by explorers Landor and Lefroy in 1834, some thirty years before pastoralists, sandalwood cutters and overlanders settled the district. In the 1870's one of the first homesteads to be built in the Dumbleyung area was on the property known as Wheatfield's, constructed from native timber and materials. It was owned by George Kersley,
who brought the first flock of sheep to the district in 1875.
Like Katanning and other towns in the region, the railway was very important to their prosperity, and as Dumbleyung was the terminus, it became a natural meeting place for settlers meeting or farewelling their families, relatives and friends on the weekly train.
Although the importance of the railway has been overtaken by road freight, and the population of the township has declined, the area remains as one of Western Australia's important agricultural and grain handling centres.
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